2017 BUCCANEERS ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

Linebackers Coach Mark Duffner


Bucs LBs coach Mark Duffner - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LBs coach Mark Duffner – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Duffner gets the slight edge over first-year tight ends coach Ben Steele for this award because he did a sensational job navigating through injuries to make the linebacker unit the strength of the Bucs defense. Duffner helped David have a rebound season and lead the defense with 101 tackles despite the weakside linebacker missing three games. Middle linebacker Kwon Alexander also dealt with injuries and had 91 tackles and a career-high three interceptions, which tied for the team lead, despite missing four games.

But it was Duffner’s work getting rookie Kendell Beckwith ready to play that deserves the most praise. Tampa Bay’s third-round pick won the starting strongside linebacker role with a great preseason and was pressed into duty at middle linebacker when Alexander was injured in Week 2. Beckwith finished with 73 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble and played so well that the Bucs switched to a 3-3-5 scheme in nickel defense and also used him as a defensive end.
PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS:

2016 DC Mike Smith
2015 OC Dirk Koetter
2014 LBs Hardy Nickerson
2013 STs Dave Wannstedt

2012 WRs P.J. Fleck

2011 STs Dwayne Stukes

2010 OC Greg Olson

2009 STs Rich Bisaccia

2008 STs Rich Bisaccia

2007 DBs Raheem Morris

2006 STs Rich Bisaccia

2005 QBs Paul Hackett

2004 WRs Richard Mann and DL Rod Marinelli

2003 DBs Mike Tomlin

2002 DC Monte Kiffin

2001 DC Monte Kiffin

2000 DL Rod Marinelli

1999 DC Monte Kiffin

1998 DBs Herm Edwards and DC Monte Kiffin

1997 DL Rod Marinelli
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996* STs Joe Marciano

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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Horse

Congratulations! Go Bucs!

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scubog

Wow was that a weak offering. I’m OK with the choices for the awards noted, but it just shows the relatively low level of performance by the winners. If not these guys, who? McCoy or Grimes deserve to be considered for MVP. I’d consider Chris Godwin for Special Teams MVP. I don’t get Cameron Brate for MVP when his numbers were fairly pedestrian since Koetter seemed to forget about him in some games. Same for Howard, who as you said, was often invisible in the passing game. Even with Mike Evans’ numbers being down from a year ago he’s still… Read more »

Dman

Rookie MVP should be Beckwith, hands down. Far more impactful from Day 1 and throughout the season. His versatility and consistency as a starter in multiple positions was exceptional for any play, but for a rookie, incredible.

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